>> chris: i'm chris wallace. as the g.o.p. presidential race heads south, newt goes all in, to mount another comeback. with alabama and mississippi at stake, we'll ask gingrich if those two states are must wins for his campaign to continue. then, foreign trouble spots, should the u.s. intervene in syria? are the u.s. and israel on the same page about iran? we'll discuss both tissue issues and talk about the new movie, "game change," in an exclusive interview with john mccain. better nuzz on jobs, but no relief on gas prices. we will ask our sunday panel how the economy is driving the president's poll numbers. and as the candidates recalibrate after super tuesday, we go on the trail.
all right now on "fox news sunday." hello again from fox news in washington. while the political world waits to see how alabama and mississippi play out on tuesday, we have some rules from saturday. in kansas, rick santorum easily won the caucuses with 51 rs. mitt romney had 21% and newt gingrich and ron paul rounding out the field. >> romney leads with 454, santorum has 217, gingrich is third and paul last. it takes 1144 delegates to clinch the nomination. joining us now from birmingham, alabama, the man looking for a strong showing in the south tuesday, newt gingrich. and mr. speaker, welcome back to
"fox news sunday." >> good to be back with you. >> chris: the polls show a surprisingly close race tuesday in alabama and mississippi. question: are you going to win them both? >> i think we will win both. we are campaigning very aggressively in both states. as almost everywhere else, you start a little behind because of rom no's money and the length of time he's advertising. as you come pain, you catch up with him pretty rapidly. i think we are pulling ahead in both states. we have great organizations in both states, particular flee alabama, where the senate majority leader has put together a great statewide organization. i will be campaigning today in birmingham and in mississippi. and then we will be campaigning in the morning in boluxi. >> chris: have you won 2 of 25 states that have voted so far. the romney camp says you must
take more than 70% of the outstanding delegates to clinch the nomination. you said on friday, even if you were to lose one or both -- alabama and mississippi -- you are going on stay in this. doesn't it get awfully hard and become impossible to get to 1144, if you don't win both states? >> you know, the romney camp has been trying to sell since last june that you should get out of the race and that romney's inevitable. but the fact is, romney's probably the weakest republican frontrunner since leonard wood in 1920 and he lost on the 10th ballot. romney has a challenge. he wins a state, for example, he wins ojaio. he gets 38% of the vote. places where nobody else can compete because of money, guam, for example, he does fine. but overall, you go to wyoming, 40%. he loses kansas outright. the most he is going to get in mississippi and alabama is
probably a third and more likely to get 25 or 28%. so... yes, he's the frontrunner. he's not a very frong strong frontrunner, i think we are as likely to see after the last primary in june, we are as likely to see a 60-day conversation about what is going to happen as we are to see romney dominating n. that context, i think the vote that i got, remembering that i was in first place, both in december and again in mid-january in terms of the gallup poll. i think there is a space for a visionary conservative with big solutions like a national american energy policy leading the $2.50 a gallon gasoline or a personal social security savings account for young americans or replacing the 130 yearly service system with a brand-new management model. these are big ideas that take a while. we have a lot of states where i
came in second and i fool pretty good about representing people. the other thing, i have 175,000 donors. 95% of them under $250. i think i owe something about representing their views and their desires for a positive conserveatism. >> chris: we will get to the big ideas, especially energy in just a moment. but i want to ask you about exactly your point, which is that romney is winning, but not winning with a majority, he is winning with a plurality. you put out a new web video this week, going after rick santorum. let's take a look at it. >> i teamed up with joe lieberman and barbara boxer and i made a law -- i am even working with hillary clinton. politics is a team sport, folks. >> chris: i understand that you think you would make a better president than rick santorum, you think you have bigger ideas and better solutions. but given the fact that you are both conservatives and you say that romney is a plod rat, at
some point, does it make sense to get out of the race and give rick santorum a one-on-one shot at mitt romney, who as you point out is not winning by very impressive margins in a lot of these states? >> you just -- that video makes the point of why i haven't gotten out. when i was peeker of the house, we led an effort that led to four consecutive balanced budgets. when rick was in leadership, they ran up a $1.7 trillion deficit. very big difference to put the label "conservative" and assume that confers everything is very misleading. i went to work to change washington and to use rick's own language, and people have said it themselves, this is somebody who on a number of occasions had washington change him. he admits it and says "it's a team sport." "have you to go along to get along." i don't believe that. i am not running to go along to get along. the leadership team rick was in suffered a disastrous loss
inuent 06 because the country didn't want bigger deficits, the bridge to nowhere and those things. i think there is a principled difference, this is not just a label. but what you are you trying to accomplish? how do you think the system works? are you in the business to change washington decisively or to be part of a team? >> chris: let's talk energy and $2.50 a gallon gasoline, which has become the centerpiece of your campaign. how quickly do you believe you could get us back to that, mr. speaker? >> within 2 years. maybe faster. when george w. bush signed an executive order, opening up offshore drilling at the presidential, still requiring congressional ckzac. the price of oil per barrel dropped $9. i think the market moves on an anticipatory basis. i would sign the keystone pipeline immediately and that could being built within a year.
there are a number of steps like that. i would sign opening up the gulf off louisiana and texas, 400,000 barrels a day. the folks in louisiana believe that could turn around very fast, once they knew it was coming. see there are steps you could take that would dramatically lower the price of gasoline. $2.50 is not irrational of it was $1.89 when obamma was sworn. so you can imagine the circumstances below $2.50. the key thing is the direction i would take the country is towards developing our energy resources to be independent of the middle-east so that no american president would ever bah to a saudi king. the direction the president is taking the country is greater dependence on much more expensive gasoline, maybe ultimately as high as $9 or their 10 a gallon, which is what his secretary of energy, dr. chu, says he wants it to be.
>> chris: mr. speaker, gas experts make two points. first of all, you pointed out that gasoline was $1.89 a gallon when president obama tooka office. they say that's misleading because it was the depths of the recession, so understandably gas price his gone down. six months before, it was $4.11 under president bush. the other point they make is that even if you were to begin a big onslaught ofde domestic drilling that it would take 3 to 5 years for that to result in more production, here domestically, which isn't to say we shouldn't start doing tbut it wouldn't indication or cause gas prices to go down in the two-year thyme frame you are talking about. >> it's a question of what the futures market does and whether it anticipates production. secondly, i led drill here, drill now, pay less. we got 1.6 million signatures in '08, when gas prices were up to
$4. if we started there, we would be inside the window you are notice describing. natural gas production has gone up 11% since 2008. the price has crashed, from $7.97 a unit, down to under $3. from 2008 to today, it's crashed. if you had exactly the same pattern in oil that you had in natural gas, you would be paying $1.13 a gallon. i am not projecting that. i am not saying you can get there, but that's the direct parallel in the united states with natural gas in the last four years. >> chris: let me pivot to another subject. there has been a terrible incident this morning, where a u.s. serviceman, apparently walked off his base in southern afghanistan, started firing at civilians and according to some reports, killed as many as 16. your reaction to that, sir? >> lwe clearly have to investigate it. i see that the nato command has
commented on it. we have to indicate clearly and convince the people of afghanistan that justice will be done and that we are not going to tolinate that kind of thing. and also they have a grave difficulty in reaching out to those families. they should be compensated for the tragic loss. when those kind of things happen, what makes us different from the taliban or al qaeda, they target killing civilian, we work very hard to not have things like this happen and we have to live up to our standards and our values. >> you know, it brings up a bigger question that i want to discuss about our future in afghanistan. after the accidental burning of the korans, our so-called afghan partners targeted and killed six u.s. servicemen. you reacted very sharply to that. let's watch. >> this is a real problem. and there are some problems what you have to do is say, you know, you are going to have to figure out to to live your own miserable life. >> chris: i want to ask but
that. are you saying we should pull out of afghanistan now? and what about the argument that we need to be there longer because we need to get the afghan, the government and the military and the police to stand up so they can stand up to and defend against the taliban and al qaeda after we leave? >> first what i said was related it pot karzai. as much as we at times have to be concerned about our impact on the afghan people, he owes the american people an apology. some of those killings were by afghan soldiers. it has to be a two-way street. i think that this idea that we have to tolerate and tolerate and tolerate while things are done to us that are wrong. i think it sends the wrong signal. i think we have to reconsider what's going on. i reached a conclusion, frankly, about the entire region, that is much more pessimistic than washington's official position. when you look at pakistan and realize they have been hiding
osama bin laden for at least 7 years, in a military city within a mile of their national security and their reaction wasn't to find the people who had been hiding it, it was to find the people who had helped the american, there is something profoundly wrong with our approach to the region. i think it will get substantially worse, not better. i think we are risking the lives of young men and women in a mission that may not be doable. >> chris: you didn't just say that karzai needs to apologize. you said, there are some problems where you have to say, you will have to lead your own miserable life. are you say that this u.s. needs to just -- we fought bravely and with all good intent for more than 10 years, is it time to say, enough? >> i think it's very likely we have lost, tragically lost lives and suffered injuries to a considerable number of young americans on a mission that we are going to discover is not doable. and by not doable, i mean, you are not going on get --
afghanistan, pakistan, we watch what is happening in egypt with the muslim brotherhood. look at the things that are going on around the region and ask yourself: is this in fact a harder, diaper problem that is not going to be susceptible to military force, at least not on the scale we are prepared to do? and if that is true, this is part of why i decided to make energy independence a major theme of my campaign. we need to decide that the united states is going to have to back off from that region, not take primary responsibility for the flow of persian gulf and say to the chinese and the indians and the europe arns, you have a problem, but it is not necessarily america's problem. this is a region that's going to be very hard to deal with in the near future. >> chris: speaker gingrich, thank you. safe travels on the campaign trail. we will see how things turn out on tuesday. >> thank you. thanks, chris. >> chris: up next, from iran's nuclear program for the revolt in syria, we will ask senator
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>> chris: with big foreign policy challenges, an unsettled presidential race and the controversial new move oat 2008 campaign, we have plent tow discuss with our next guest, senator john mccain from cottonwood, arizona. welcome back to "fox news sunday." >> thank you, chris. >> chris: let's start with the terrible news overnight from afghanistan. what's your reaction? we have just talked about it, as you heard the news that apparently one u.s. serviceman
walked off his base in southern afghanistan, went into civilian homes and shot them up, may have killed, according to unconfirmed reports, as many as 16 people, including children. what's jure reaction to that and also your reaction to the growing sentiment among some conservatives that our mission in afghanistan may not be doable and we may need to get out? >> well, obviously, it's a terrible situation that happened there. it is -- you know, it's one of those things that you cannot explain except to extend your deepest sympathy to those victims and see that justice is done. i might add that there was a significant step forward in agreement concerning detainees between president karzai and the united states, which i think would move us very must have closer to a long-term strategic partnership agreement.
that is, i think an important step forward. but these things in warfare that happen -- give us all the more reason to have it be avoided. and finally, there is still a serious fundamental problem of corruption in the karzai government and sanctuary in pakistan. ambassador crocker made that very clear in a cable that he sent back through the sica, which natural appeared on the front page of the washington post. >> chris: let's walk our way through this. you have the accidental burning of the koran. and then our afghan partners target and kill 6 u.s. servicemen. now we have this incident, with obviously, it would seem a deranged american serviceman, killing more than a dozen. you know the blowback from that will be terrible. and as a result, you get people like newt gingrich who is no dove on defense saying, maybe it's just time to get out?
>> i understand the frustration. and i understand the anger and the sorrow. i also understand and we should not forget that the attacks on the united states of america at 9/11 originated in afghanistan. and if afghanistan dissolved into a situation where the taliban were able to take over or a chaotic situation, it could easily return to an al qaeda base for attacks on the united states of america. that is still our goal, as it was the day that we went in. >> chris: you became the first senator this week to say that the u.s. andn coordination with other countries should use our air power to go after the assad regime. here is what president obama said in response. >> what happened in libya, we mobilized the international community. and we knew we could execute
very effectsively in a relatively short period of time. this is a much more complicated situation yew know, the point that he and others make in response to your call for using u.s. air power is that syria has a much stronger army. they have a much stronger and more rebust air system. they have big caches of biological and chemical weapons and we don't really know who the opposition is. it is not unite ode reliable. and they say those are all big differences from libbia. what about their counterargument? this is different and more complicated than libya? >> first of all, let me make it clear, i never called for unilateral u.s. action and we don't have to have boots on the grown. what is taking place in syria as we speak. and by the way, they are continuing with the slaughter. it's a violation of the united states national security policy made by the the president of the
united states that we would prevent mass cers wherever they take place. if the united states of america does not have the military capability with our allies to subdue the syrian military, then we have wasted $700 billion a year. every time one of these crisis comes up, we hear from this administration reasons why we can't do something. why we can't lead from in front. instead, they want to lead from behind. people are being massacred as we speak. by the way, general madis, the head of our central command and others have said that if syria fell, it would be the biggest blow to iran in 25 years. but the point is, massacres are taking place, massacres were taking place in bosnia and kosovo and under president clinton, we intervened because that's what america is all about. these people are fighting for their freedom. they're being slaughtered in an unfair fight, being sly supplied
by the russians and the iranians, want only weapons, but iranian on the ground. it is not a fair fight. the united states of america does have the capability with our allies in exercising a lot of ogzs and air power is one of them. for us not to do so, in my humble opinion, is disgraceful and shameful. >> chris: let's turn to iran. the president seemed to send two messages about what he is willing to do to stop iran's nuclear program, first talking to jewish leaders at aipac and talking to republican rivals in a news conference. let's watch. >> i will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the united states and its interests. but when i see the casualness with which some of these folks tom talk about war... i am reminded of the costs, involved in war. >> chris: what would you do, sir
f2008 had turned out differently? what would president mccain do? would you give the israelis a green line to strike. >> gregg: what would be your red lines before you would strike? would you give diplomacy? we have the oil embarg orch the european oil embargo and new sanctions against the iran central bank. how much time would you give them to work? >> first of all, the president said he doesn't bluff. his national security policy is to prevent mass cers. he said that assad is unacceptable and has to g. we will find out about bluffing. second of all, it's a little bothersome that a president of the united states would dell denigrate the views of other people who feel that they have a right to weigh in on this issue. it's not casualness that some of us and the senate have been engaged. it is not casual on the part of mitt romney to say that it is
unacceptable for the iranians to develop a nuclear weapon. so the president sends the national security adviser and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to israel and then leaks that they are there in order to urge israel not to act. if you are a nation that is threatened with extinction as iran has threatened israel, would you rely on another country's capabilities in order to make sure that you are not attacked with nuclear weapons? that's at this time situation. >> the israelis find themselves in. prime minister netanyahu said that israel is a sovereign nation and will act in their sovereign interests. what the president has done, rather than bring us closer together with israel is -- shown great degrease of separation. what should he have done? he should have sat down with the prime minister of israel, with our national security advisers and said, here are the following red lines that if iran crosses
those red lines -- by the way, they continue to develop a nuclear weapon and there has been no change for that course, despite the sanctions and all of the other efforts that are being made, which need to be made. and these are the following red lines, mr. prime minister. we will act with you if iran reaches those red lines. and those red lines could be drawn. instead, the president has decided to try to persuade israel, not to attack at least between now and november of 2012. it is not helpful. the relations between the united states and israel have never been worse. >> chris: well, that brings us, speaking of elections to the new hbo movie, "game change" about your selection of sarah palin as your runningmate. now you had sworn that you were not going to watch "game change." i want to know because it premiered last night on hbo. did you break down and tune in?
>> i watched the phoenix coyotes defeat the san jose sharks 3-0. it was a great game. of course i am not going to watch it. it's based on a book that is completely biased and with unattributed quote, et cetera. what i don't understand, even in the tough world of politics, why there continues to be such assaults on a good and decent person, sarah palin, a fine family person. a fortune whose nomination energized our campaign. we were in the lead and they continue to disparage and attack her character and her person. i admire and respect her, i am proud of our campaign. i am grateful that she ran with me. i will always be proud of what we did and humbled by the fact that i was able to get the nomination of the republican party for president of the united states. >> chris: i do want to ask you, not about palin but about yourself because it does portray
you. it says that for all your talk about putting country first, that your decision to pick sarah palin was pure politics. here's a clip from the show. >> desperately need a game-changing pick. none of these middle-aged white guys are game changers. >> so find me a woman. >> chris: so find me a woman. simple question, senator. did that ever happen? >> of course not. and by the way, i have been told that -- i am portrayed as using an exceeding amount of coarse language. i don't use coarse language very often. i have a larger vocabulary than that. of course not. i thought she was the best qualified person. i thought she had -- the ability to excite our party and the kind of person that i wanted to see succeed in the political arena. she was very effective and successful as governor of the state. yet again, chris, i look forward
and not back. this kind of stuff is something that i don't spend a lot of time on because right now, i am trying to work on issues such as those we have previously discussed. >> chris: i want to ask one last question in this regard because it does speak to the question of credibility. then we'll leave it. you say that the authors and hollywood made stuff up. but i want to point out some quotes from steve smith, who was your chief strategist during the 2008 campaign, played by woody harrelson in the movie. here's what he says. he says, it's the true story of what happened over those 10 weeks. then he said... i regret playing a part in a process that yielded someone on the ticket who was not prepared to be president. so i'm not aou i am not asking you to respond to hollywood or the authors. what do you say to the guy who was one of your top advisers in the 2008 campaign who says this
is all true? >> i regret that he would make such a statement. >> chris: we'll leave it there. senator mccain, thank you. thank you as always for coming on, sir. i was going to say that in the movie, which i watched part of, you swear like a sailor, but that would be unfair to sailors. so i will leave it there. [chuckles] >> thanks again, chris. >> chris: thank you, sir. up next, our sunday panel on the recent streak of good economic news. but are rising gas prices the reason behind the president's flat poll numbers? [ todd ] hello? hello todd. just calling to let you know i'm giving you the silent treatment. so you're calling to tell me you're giving me the silent treatment? ummm, yeah. jen, this is like the eighth time you've called... no, it's fine, my family has free unlimited mobile-to-any-mobile minutes -- i can call all i want. i don't think you understand how the silent treatment works.
>> i did not run for this office just to get back to where we were. i ran for this office to get us to where we need to be. >> chris: presidents obama pointing out some good news on the economy and promising even better news ahead. it's time for our sunday group. dana perino, co-anker of "the five" on fox newschannel. former senator, evan bayh, and the campaign manager for mike huckabee's twoant 08 presidential run. and liz morlantis from the christian science monitor. 227,000 jobs created last month. but unemployment is 8.3% because
almost half a million people joined the workforce. 1.2 million jobs in six months created. but there are still 5.2 million fewer jobs than four years ago. dana, what does that mean for the economy? what does it mean for president obama? >> good news is good news t. should be called that. i remember in the bush administration years, you would get 150,000 scrobes one month and on the hill, democrats would say, this is horrible. not good enough. 227,000 jobs is a positive trend. should that continue and if we see a drop in the unemployment rate, 1, good for americans, but 2, the central focus of the campaign will be the economy. it will shift a little bit to the debt, deficit, obamacare will play a really big role. so the economy for the administration plays the most important role going forward. >> chris: senator, we'll talk about the gas prices in just a
moment. but putting that aside, what does this say to you about the strength of the recovery and what does it say to you about republicans trying to make the economy and obama's mismanagement of this? >> three thing, chris. first, the economy is gaining momentum. what is the old saying that one set of data can be an aberration, two can be a coincidence, but three is a trend. we have three months in a row. over the last year, there have been 1.3 million jobs created. the stock market, which tends to be a forward-predicting mechimism is looking good. consumer confidence is higher. but gas prices are higher. we may discuss that in a minute. europe is a mess. the recoveries from financial panics are almost always more sluggish than recoveries from other recessions because confidence has been affected and people have to get the debt down -- state, government and the people as well. tell make it harder for the republicans. they have to run on it. it is the issue. but it is harder to run on it
when times are improving and they are. >> chris: chip, if you look at this in historical context, no president, even if we are talking about 8.3, 8.2 or the high 7s, no president has won re-election with unemployment as high as it's going to be on election day, than fdr. what's more important, the absolute number of the rate or the trajectory, the direction that, yes oorkts heading down. and if you were running the republican cam and tart starting on labor day, how do you go after obama on the economy? >> the re-election of the president is usually based on the president. the economy's news is good, which is good for all americans. but it's a feeling out there. right now, the feeling is that the economy is picking up, but it is slow. typically in a re-election year, you get to the end of the second quarter and people lock in their votes on the feeling of the economy. so it's slow, but it's good. as republicans, we need
celebrate that and contrast with him on the issues that are important to us, like obamacare, epa, regulations in gas price as we move to november. >> chris: let's turn to the gas prices, as of today $3.79 a gallon, forecast that it could go up over $4 a gallon this summer. liz, how big a problem for the president. >> i think it could be a problem for the president. obviously, they are worried enough about it that he is talking about it in his weekly address and the oil companies, improving fuel efficiency. newt gingrich has been hammering this issue-- >> reporter: $2.50 a gallon. >> $2.50 plan. he is mocking president obama as president algae. and there are indications that he is picking up in the polls. maybe. the polls are all over the place. so we will see. but on the other hand, i will say about the gas prices, we have had so much volatility in
the gas prices over several years, that i feel like consumers to some extent feel like they have seen this before. i wonder if there is a little bit of a cushion where they think, this is up high, it's seasonal. it may go back down. i don't think there is the sense that it's up high and never going back down. >> chris: dana and senator bayh, i want to you debate gas prices. let me set tup here. president obama says domestic production is the highest it's been in 8 years. the critics say that's because of drilling on private property, not on federal land. and they also say -- that's why i want to bring nu-- because of decisions made under president bush. how fair is it to go after barack obama on the high gas prices we face right now? >> if you are dealing in fact and reality, those two things are true. public land drilling has been down 11%. private land drilling is up. certain states like north
dadakota have found new technologies and they have a 3% unemployment rate, on the state and private lands, not federal, public lands. in addition to that, it takes about 4 to 5 years to find a site, test it, get the equipment there and get that stuff online, which is why i don't think a lot of people think that the keystone pipeline would have given them lower gas prices tomorrow. but president obama was in a position that we has lost. he was in a position to go against the hype and to say, i am going to have a longer-range strategy tow a president in the future can say, there will be a brighter future for us on the gas prices in america. >> chris: to sum this up. when the obama white house claims, well, domest tick production is the highest it's been in 8 years, is -- >> there's a but -- and they never finish the sentence. >> crirks i think you raise two very good points in the interview with newt gingrich. gas prices fluctuate under every
president. they were over $4 a gallon not too far before president bush left office. so they do go up and down. in the short run, the president did support the continued payroll tax cut npart to offset the blow that consumers are taking at the pouch. that's one thing that can be done in the short run. he was for it. in the long run, it's supply and demand. he has tried to diversify our fuel sources, higher mileage standards for cars and trucks and in the long run, supply. look, president bush does deserve credit. but the fact is that president obama has not rolled all of that back. we are less dependent today than we have been in a long time. the incumbent deserves credit for that. >> chris: briefly, how vulnerable is obama on gas prices? >> this is a key issue. if the gas prices are a daily reminder for people that they are having problem, when they
have to spend $ar 80, $90 to fill up the truck that. can damage the recovery. it's very fragile. >> chris: when we come back, the candidates head south and the stakes couldn't be higher. we will ask the panel who has the most riding on tuesday. i stepped on the machine, and it showed me the pressure points on my feet and exactly where i needed more support. i had tired, achy feet. until i got my number. my dr. scholl's custom fit orthotics number. now i'm a believer. you'll be a believer, too. learn where to find your number at drscholls.com.
two-person race. >> chris: candidates mitt romney and rick santorum making their case in two southern states that may have a big impact on the campaign. we are backed with the panel. chip, from your perspective, as mike huckabee's campaign manager four years ago, what's going to happen in alabama and mississippi on tuesday? what is the potential that this will really shake up the race? >> it could shake up the race, with mitt romney gets a win. if he could win mississippi or albala-- >> reporter: why is he even competitive? >> he has great organization and a lot of people on the ground. he is spending money, done mail, and he has done everything the campaign is supposed to sodo and the other campaigns are just getting in the game. it is not different from any other state he's been in. >> chris: but the fact is, you would think -- it's the evangelicals and the very conservatives and the tea partyers are bigger in the electorate than in other parts of the country, is he not going to have the same problem?
>> job's pretty important, whether you are evangelical or not. if you are social issues are the only reason you are voting, mitt romney is probably not your first choice. but if it's jobs and economy, mitt romney will compete for your vote. >> chris: senator, do you believe newt gingrich and rick santorum when they say they are in this race all the way to the convention, regardless of what happens? >> no, chris. i don't, there is an old saying in politics that presidential politics, no one ever stops running for president. they just run out of money. so in newt's case, if they continue to right the ooh. >> chris: the casino owner from las vegas has been giving more than $10 million to newt's super pac. so -- >> correct. if that dries up, how does newt go on? rick santorum, at some point, the money will stop. how does he go on? if they continue on, past a person point, it's ego. and at some point, their
supporters will say, enough already. the real winner is president obama. if you look at what is happening to the likely nominee, his unfavorables are higher than favorables now. and independents have been alienated. the republican enthusiasm is down. swing states with the very ugly campaigns, ohio and michigan and elsewhere, he is behind. the longer it goes on, it presents a strategic dilem a. as long as he has to appeal to the conservative base and the later he appeal total moderates and the independents, it bleeds into the authenticity issue. the sooner they can wrap this up, the better it is for them. >> chris: dana, i want you and liz to go big picture. where is, as we sit here today, where is the republican race? how close is mitt romney to wrapping it up, if not mathematically, at least practically? >> if you look at all the states except for tennessee that mitt romney has won, he has won the
two important things, people who think the economy is the most important thing and that want to beat obam a. i think that voters across the country, whether they -- whether they're watching day to day, big picture, they think, at least in the state where is he has won and i think that's why he's competitive in the south, when a lot of people thought he couldn't even show up there. if you ask those two questions, tend to think that romyny is the best nominee. >> chris: what do you think on the possibility that at some point, republican who is may not be sold on him, particularly more conservative republicans, will hold their nose and say, we have to stop the bloodletting. he does seem like the nominee and we will vote for him. >> i think the enthusiasm is there under the surface. they have let this play out. i believe that the independents have been alienated by president obama, that's that razor-thin margin that the republicans have the opportunity to pick up. but they have to continue to do well with the hispanics.
i think that's a huge hurd toll appeal to the voters in the general election. >> chris: same big picture, liz? where is the race? how close is romney to effectively putting it away? >> i think he is pretty close. the basic big picture really hasn't changed, which is that the states where romney has lost won't go for obama in the general election. he won't lose any of these southern states, even if he loses them now in the primary. that's a fundamental fact. the states that matter are olieo, florida, where romney has won. so that's the bottom line. i do think in the south, romney's final got a chance to beat expectations. he has been hobbled in a way throughout this campaign by being a frontrunner who everybody has assumed will win, but has significant weaknesses. so he has never had a situation where he can go and in and beat expectations and this might be the first time that he can do
that. in terms of perception, that would go a long way for him. >> chris: chip, before we are seen as corinating mitt romney, the fact that santorum is running a very strong campaign, did very well in kansas. and more importantly, came within 12,000 votes of winning ohio and 3 percentage points of winning michigan. how big a deal that he continues to show strength and that romney continues to show weakness, in closing the deal with evangelical, strong tea party supporters and people who identify as very conservative? >> it's a challenge. rick santorum is running a passionate campaign, a crusade that people are getting behind, they love to watch him on tv and they love his rallies. it's an excitement. you saw from governor romney, his campaign's more clinical. he is more surgically approaching this and santorum's all passion, romney's all business. the passion and the energy is with santorum. but at the end of the day, it's
a heart versus mind. and does the mind say that romney is our best chance. it's mitt romney and who will not be mitt romney. >> chris: as a very talented republican strategist, what would you say to mitt romney, how do you close the deal with those parts of the active, more conservative part of the base that he has failed to reach? >> he is starting to do t. he has tried with his humor, which he is not great at. but if he can laugh at himself, that's effective. and i think we are a year into this and not sure of his bio. who is he? what does he believe? why does he want to be president? i am not sure i can answer those questions about mitt romney. >> chris: senator, it's a flip for you, here you are a as democrat in a very red state of indiana, how do you cross over and persuade people, you know, you can be trustd? and that you share their values? >> it in terms of the--
>> reporter: in terms of the base. >> i would tell romney to be himself and say, look, i have been fortunate to be successful. i have made money. i may not be the most natural person at the political stuff, but i know how to create jobs and run an chiand i will be working every day. he has to, you know, maybe just relax a little bit more and be the authentic mitt romney. because weem -- because people are wondering, is he the moderate or the arch conservative who is competing for the republican nomination? >> chris: it reminds me about the line of samuel goldman, the hollywood mogul says, the key is sincerity. once have you learned to fake that, you have it made. >> i like that, be himself. there is a point in his michigan speech, which a lot of victory speech in michigan, toward the end, are my children going to be able to comfeet in this world? are we going to have the america we want to have? i am going to be the person who
todo that. he did the big picture. and the media -- of which we are part -- it's like losing the football. if he wins, it doesn't say he won, it says he didn't lose. >> chris: don't forget to check out panel plus, where our group picks up with the discussion on our web site, "fox news sunday." we will post the video before noon eastern time. followous twitter. up next, we go on the trail. [ male announcer ] what makes you trust a company? wait -- scratch that -- what makes you trust a car insurae company? a talking animal? a talking character? a talking animal character? how fancy their commercials are, maybe? or how many there are? well what about when a company's customers do the talking? esurance customers are saying stuff like "awesome" and "rockin'." and they aren't even paid to.
>> chris: after super tuesday the race shifted down south. that is where we go on the trail. >> what would you like >> say to mr. obama? >> good luck tonight. >> we are doing counting and we what would you like to say. we're counting the delegates for the convention and it looks good and counting down the days to the convention and that looks better. >> and we're going to get at least a couple of gold medals and a passel full of silver medals. >> are we go to win? >> we all win, good morning, y'all, good to be with you. i got something right with biscuits and cheesy grits, i tell you.
>> governor romney indicated it was the first time he'd ever tasted grits. i just wanted to reassure all of you, that i've had some acquaintance with shrimp, with cheese, with gravy, i get it. >> if he wants to get out, i am he all for getting out. i'm for everybody getting out. i wish president obama would hand me the thing. >> we're staying in this race because i believe it's going be to be impossible for a moderate to win the general election. >> but i spent my life in business, 25 years, in business you have to be a fiscal conservative. >> outspending your opponent is not going to get him in the ewilkes. >> ♪ sweet home alabama, where the skies are so blue ♪ >> this is the wildest
rollercoaster, like riding space mountain in disney world. that's the rollercoaster in the dark and you don't know where you've been, not sure where you are, but it's exciting. >> for the anticipation, super tuesday did not mark a big turning point in the race, but there's a good chance the results in alabama and mississippi may do just that. and now, a personal note, wednesday evening i was honored to receive the award for excellence in broadcast journalism from the national prep foundation. my thanks to that group and all of my colleagues here at fox for their supportment to see some highlights and low lights for my career and check out our web page at fox news sunday.com and you didn't see me interviewing the olson twins. >> we'll see you next fox news sunday.